Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Spring Snowstorm

This morning I woke up early.  A Spring snowstorm had brought snow to the area.  It was a delight to see the ground covered with about an inch of snow.

I sat in my chair and looked out into the wetland area.  Rabbits were enjoying the colder weather. The blackbirds were flying from one tree limb to the next, trying to keep warm. In the distance, I could see the mallard ducks in flight.

The surroundings were so peaceful.  I enjoyed the day by being at home and watching the huge white snowflakes fall from the sky.  By the end of the day, we had received about four inches of snow.

Today was a nice, relaxing day!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Recharging My Battery

It felt so good to be at home today.  I have been traveling non-stop for about six weeks.

Today was all about regrouping.  Getting caught up on reports, expenses, following up with people, unpacking, washing clothes, etc.

Even though it is the end of April, it is still cool outside.  This afternoon, I bundled up with my jacket and a cap.  As I step outside, I could smell the freshness of the air.  It had rained earlier today and I could see the moisture on the grass and rose bushes.

As I walked through the neighborhood, I could hear the doves cooing, the gold finches singing and flitting from one tree to the next.  Baby rabbits were hopping from one house to the next.  Dogs were barking and kids were playing outside.

Looking up into the sky, all I could see were the white, puffy formations of the clouds with the blue background.

After walking for about forty minutes, I felt recharged.  We forget that when we are busy and trying to accomplish a lot that our body, mind, emotions and spirit gets drained.  Before you get to that point, take some time for yourself.  That could be reading a book, taking a walk, having coffee with a friend or just being still.  I once read that "we cannot deliver the goods if our heart is heavier than the load."

Take some time and get your battery recharged!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Season of Suffering

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."  Ecclesiastes 3:1

As I think on this verse, I think about life and the many blessings that we all have as well as the suffering that we all go through.

Today's sermon was on the "Seasons of Suffering".  Suffering is everywhere and at times unavoidable.  I think about the people that I know and the suffering that has touched their lives. From battling cancer; chronic pain in their back; financial troubles; marriage problems/divorce; strained relationships with family members; death of a family member or a close friend; as well as being in a job where they are miserable.

There is nothing more certain in life than the fact that we are all going to suffer at some stage in our life.  As we are going through this suffering, we wonder if God really loves us?  How do we find hope when darkness hits us?

The chapter of Job discusses the suffering that he went through.  Job was a man of God and he was tested.  His life was filled with prestige, possessions and a wonderful family.  In a split second, he lost everything, his children, servants, livestock and home.  Job's testing of faith began.

Even Job's wife told him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity?  Curse God and die!".  Job's reply was "Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?".  How true that statement is!

So often people tell us that we have done something wrong in our life or we are not walking with God or what can we do to change our situation?  We forget that our trials are what can bring us closer to God.  To trust Him with the the life that He created for us.

As we each go through suffering in our lives, I just want to encourage you to know that God is aware of your circumstance(s) and that He does have a plan even when we can't even understand or know what it is.

God is almighty!  He wants us to lay everything at His feet.  God will give us the wisdom that we need as we walk through the suffering.

Reflect on this verse:  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28  This does not mean that all that happens to us is good.  Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good.

Enjoy this week that God has given you!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Springtime in Des Moines, Iowa

The past three weeks, I have traveled from Denver to Chicago, to Minneapolis, to Wisconsin, to Detroit, to Des Moines, and to Omaha.  I have flown in and out of seven airports, slept in six different hotels and I can't even remember how many different restaurants I have eaten at.

I have always enjoyed traveling and seeing new places.  I have seen many new sites in the past weeks, but one of the spectacular viewing was the Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa.

Iowa is located in the Midwestern United States.  It is bordered by the Mississippi River on the east and the Missouri River on west.  It is known for its rolling plains and cornfields.  The population of the state is over three million.  One of the major landmarks of the state is the State Capitol located in Des Moines.

When I landed in Des Moines on Monday, the temperature was 75, sunny and low humidity.  It was a perfect day!  The hotel that I was staying in was about six blocks from the Capitol.

After setting up the room for training on the next day, I ventured out into the downtown area and soaked in the sun and the warmth.  My walk to the Capitol was very pleasant as I observed the paintings on the buildings, the quaint restaurants, the adorable boutiques and the lofts.

As I got closer to the Capitol grounds, I knew that this capitol was unique.  This is the only Capitol in the country that has five domes.  Most capitols only have one dome.  It was built from 1871 to 1886 and it covers 17 acres.  The grounds were covered with flowers and the blooming of the various ornamental trees.

Des Moines is a unique city located on the Des Moines River.  The population of this metro area(five counties) is approximately 600,000.  It is the number one spot of U.S. insurance companies.

Des Moines is an important city in U.S. Presidential politics.  As the state's capital, it is the site of the first caucuses of the presidential primary cycle.

On my bucket list, one of the items is seeing the fifty U.S. capitols.  I still have many more to see, but at least I was able to see the Des Moines Capitol in the spring time.  I was able to capture this view with the red bud trees in bloom.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Enjoying My Sunday!

Today was a quiet day of relaxing, walking and getting ready for a new week.

I was looking through photos that I had taken several years ago in New York.  This picture of the tulips in Central Park brought a smile to my face.

Sometimes it is the little things that gives us joy!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

This Is the Day!

As I woke up this morning and looked outside, I felt as if the weatherman had played an April Fool's joke on us.  Last night on the news, the weatherman said that when we woke up that we would have from 3 to 5 inches of snow on the ground.   A storm from the west was going to dump at least a foot of snow in the mountains and that the foothills would get at least 3 inches.

The morning began with frost on the roof and an overcast sky and no snow.

As I sat in my rocker and looked outside into the wetland area, a verse came to mind.  "This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalms 118:24

I felt led to text several friends with this verse, as well as these words:  "A great verse to say every morning, even though we may not feel like rejoicing.  Our mood is down, our situation is out of hand and our sorrow or guilt is overwhelming.  We can all relate.  Just be honest with God.  Talk with Him, let Him know how you feel.  God will bring to mind the things, situations, people...that give you a reason to rejoice.  Sometimes all we think about are the negatives and we can't escape from those thoughts.  God has given you this day to live and to serve Him.  Always remember, He has a plan for your life.  Keep rejoicing!  By rejoicing, the negatives will disappear."

God's timing is perfect!  I had several friends text me back and said I needed these words for today or how did you know?  I didn't know, but God did.

As we are still and listen, God will bring people and situations to mind.  Your words of encouragement could make all the difference to someone.  Enjoy each moment!